Brad Pitt has fair warning for the "nutter" who jumped him on a red carpet last week: Keep up the aggressive behaviour and you're going to get "stomped."
Pitt joined his fiancée Angelina Jolie, along with five of their six children, for the Hollywood premiere of her new film, Maleficent, last Wednesday. But before the event at the El Capitan Theatre even got started, Pitt had a run-in with the infamous Ukrainian TV journalist Vitalii Sediuk, who jumped a police barrier to physically confront him.
Sediuk was promptly arrested and shackled by LAPD officers. An unharmed Pitt went on to sign autographs for waiting fans.
Now, the 50-year-old actor has finally spoken about the incident with a statement issued to People magazine. As he recalls it: "I was at the end of the line signing autographs, when out the corner of my eye I saw someone stage-diving over the barrier at me. I took a step back; this guy had latched onto my lapels." Pitt's statement continues: "I looked down and the nutter was trying to bury his face in my crotch, so I cracked him twice in the back of the head – not too hard – but enough to get his attention, because he did let go. I think he was then just grabbing for a hand hold because the guys were on him, and he reached up and caught my glasses."
At this point of the story it's worth mentioning that Sediuk is the same person who once tried to kiss Will Smith on the mouth (Smith gave him a gentle slap on the face for his efforts) on a red carpet and rushed the stage at last year's Grammy Awards to accept an award on the behalf of British singer Adele (for which he was arrested and spent the night in jail). Even more recently, Sediuk was at last month's Cannes Film Festival, where he awkwardly attempted to climb under actress America Ferrera's dress at a red-carpet event.
In his even-tempered statement, Pitt says, "I don't mind an exhibitionist, but if this guy keeps it up he's going to spoil it for the fans who have waited up all night for an autograph or a selfie, because it will make people more wary to approach a crowd." Pitt closes his message with a warning: "And he should know, if he tries to look up a woman's dress again, he's going to get stomped."
A Los Angeles judge sentenced Sediuk to three years probation and instructed him to attend a year's worth of psychological counselling, reports the Associated Press. Sediuk was also ordered to stay at least 500 yards (457 metres) away from all future celebrity events, including award shows and movie premieres.
And for what it's worth, Sediuk can't even make the claim to be a journalist any more. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Ukrainian-based TV channel 1+1 officially dismissed Sediuk on May 17 – one day after he attempted his crude interaction with Ferrera on the Cannes red carpet.